Carp Management Program Workshop 2018
The Carp Management Program (CMP) held its yearly Workshop on 10 May in Hobart. We looked over the past year's work and started planning for the coming year.
The Workshop provided an update for the new Minister responsible for Inland Fisheries, Sarah Courtney. The Minister offered her support and the team appreciated her words of encouragement.
The day involved presentations and discussions of different aspects of the data collected during 2017-18. This gave an understanding of how the CMP is progressing, the findings for the season, what we did well and what can be done to complete the eradication of carp from Tasmania.
Key findings were:
- No carp were detected in Lake Crescent or downstream in the River Clyde.
- Carp are contained to Lake Sorell.
- No spawning or small carp were found in Lake Sorell.
- The fishing effort was the same as last year but caught less than a quarter of the number of carp. This suggests the population has fallen greatly.
- Studies of the “jelly gonad” disease which causes sterility is now affecting over 50% of male carp caught.
- 41 450 carp have been removed from Lake Sorell since 1995.
- Less than 0.2% of the original population remain. We estimate this means less than 50 carp.
Some things identified to watch in the coming year were:
- Be prepared for spawning conditions in spring 2018 - rising water levels combined with warm settled weather - If the conditions are good, carp will push inshore to marsh areas. This makes them easier to catch in nets and traps. We could catch the last carp left in the lake.
- If all goes to plan through the coming spring and summer, we may be able to consider a limited opening of Lake Sorell to the public late in the trout season.